Brexit poses a threat to many multinational companies that are headquartered in the United Kingdom. As of now, these companies are taking into consideration many economic and political factors that will help them make the decision to stay in the UK or relocate to a different country inside of the European Union.
Ecclesiastical, a 130 year old niche insurance company, is one of the many who have begun looking into operation in other companies, although they are not interested in moving their headquarters out of the UK. In order to preemptively bridge the operational divide between the EU and the UK, Ecclesiastical has been working to receive clearance to operate as a third-country branch in Ireland; they have recently been approved by the Irish government.
There are many requirements that must be fulfilled in order for this to be approved. Some of the most important of those being that the company must set up a full time presence in the country while complying with a minimum capital requirement being held within the Irish State by the Irish High Court as a security that the company will fulfill its status and the deposition of a “scheme of operations” report.
The Scheme of Operations is a very detailed business plan that details what the objectives of the country specific branch are, how the company is governed, estimations in regards to future use of capital, and estimated costs that include financial projections for at least three years after the initial settle date.
There will also need to be the creation or extension of an advisory board that could make decisions for the satellite branch of the company. Ecclesiastical Ireland managing director David Lane noted that “ To operate as a third country, we would have to have an advisory board, which we already have in place.”
After realizing that there was not too much effort that would have to go into the current set up of the company to gain third-country branch status, the company began their process to being approved.
Ireland too is interested in keeping this business on irish ground, given that they have been operating here since 1980 and have been a vital part of the insurance process for places of importance such as church, charity, education, heritage, fine art, and property insurance. This company sets a positive example for corporate social responsibility and pushes those that are lacking significantly to do better.
Overall, Ecclesiastical has paved a way for other companies that are headquartered in the UK to continue operation outside of their home base. This is significant as Brexit’s October end date continuously advances.